Saturday, August 4, 2012

Olympic/Sports Mini Camp

This week partially in honor of the Olympics we have been doing a Olympic/Sports themed mini camp for the boys. The had a lot of fun and got a lot of energy out in the process.

I already mentioned that the first day we did an Olympic ring bean bag toss.

The second day was really nice outside so we went out the boys did some track and field events. They did some short sprint races, discus (mini frisbee) throwing, and tried out this "javelin" throwing activity from I Can Teach My Child. neither boy could really get the hang of throwing the "javelin" though, and Andrew much preferred to simply "shot put" rocks into the puddles the whole time. Then they played a little baseball.

The third day we brought down a playmat that we had put up for a while and let the boys do gymnastics on it. Andrew was so excited when we were getting it out he kept saying, "it's Andrew's birthday!" I love how easily they get excited over things. Nate showed them how to do a few simple gymnastics. Nate took gymnastics and karate as a kid and was really good at both, and quite amazingly he can still do the splits. Somehow the gymnastics turned into a wrestling match at the end. The new baby seemed to be joining in on the fun too as it was quite active inside of be, but I refrained from joining in any gymnastics as baby needs to stay inside for a little while longer yet.

The fourth day we set up an obstacle course in our living room. The boys really got into this and kept going through the course over and over for more than 45 minutes on their own.

The last day was nice again so we went outside and did more track and field. We did long jump, high jump (over straws taped together), running around moguls, and an Olympic torch relay. At the end we gave each boy a gold medal for their excellent participation. Aaron loves that he got a first place medal. Andrew would have probably been more impressed if the medal had been made from a chocolate coin.

Family Fridays: McDonald's and the "Thomas Store"

The boys completed another good week of their Summer Fun School Program and were able to earn another outing. So this week we took them downtown to McDonald's and Toys 'R Us (which they refer to as the Thomas Store). Everyone enjoyed their double cheeseburger and fries immensely. I am still a little amazed that Aaron can easily eat a whole double cheeseburger on his own, but I guess it shouldn't be that surprising because it is such a treat for everyone.

Looking at the fountain

Ice cream nose

Making puppets

Monday, July 30, 2012

Olympic Ring Bean Bag Toss

In honor of the Olympics we are going to do a mini sports camp this week. Our first activity was an Olympic Ring Bean Bag toss, sort of inspired by this post from Makes and Takes. But instead of pipe cleaners, I simply traced around a bowl in each of the five colors to make the Olympic rings. I added numbers also so they could practice their numbers and colors at the same time. Using our mini bean bags, the boys would just stand a few feet away and try to toss them into the rings.

You could do this activity many different ways. You could call out a number or color they are supposed to hit, or you could have them call one out before they throw it. Or they can just try to get one bean bag in each ring some time during their turn. We ended up doing the activity all of these ways, and the boys just kept wanting to play over and over.

For one game Andrew (2.5 years old)
declared he was going to throw at five,
and he got all 6 of his bean bags
to at least touch the five ring.

Mandarin Mondays: The Toilet in Pursuit of Free Life (The Chinglish Files)

This sticker is on our toilet for some reason. :)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mini Science "Camp"

This week instead of music we learned a little about science. We ended up doing quite a few different experiments and science activities. I'll probably post more about how we did each one later, but until I find time many of the experiments can be found at I Can Teach My Child.

The first day we made Oobleck. The boys had lots of fun playing with this weird substance and Aaron learned how to say Non-Newtonian liquid. But the funny kid said, "it really should follow the (Newton's) rules though." :) We also read Bartholomew and the Oobleck by Dr. Suess, which has nothing to do with science but was fun.

The second day we made lots of bubbles! We made more bubble fluid together and made bubble snake blowers and then headed outside to blow a bunch of bubbles. We learned that soap bubbles are formed because the hydophillic phospholipids in the soap form a film that wants to have the least surface area possible. That's why when the bubbles are individual they are always a sphere, but when they combine, they make other shapes. We then headed back inside to add food coloring to some of our bubbles and do bubble painting. This was Aaron's (our four-year-old's) favorite day.

On day three the boys went out with daddy to find bugs and plant materiel. They brought some "specimens" back home in jars and "cataloged" (drew) them. Then they were released. Andrew has been trying to find more "specimens" in the house since then and is very proud when he locates one.

The fourth day we did quite a few short experiments. We made it rain in a jar, which showed the different states of matter and a temperature reaction. Then we blew up balloons using vinegar and baking soda, which demonstrated a chemical reaction. The boys got to experiment with squirting green vinegar on baking soda and watching it fizz too. And then we took a piece of something like celery and stuck it in too different colors of water. The boys thought it was cool how the colors had climbed up the stalk hours later.

The last day we made a hover craft out of an old DVD, bottle top, and a balloon. The boys had lots of fun pushing it around as it hovered just off of the floor (like a puck on an air hockey table). Then we made a marshmallow slingshot and shot homemade marshmallows across the room. This illustrated Newton's third law (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction). Aaron was glad that something finally followed Newton's rules, Andrew was very happy to eat marshmallows, and this was a good note to end the science camp on. :)

Summer Fun School Program

Besides doing mini learning camps with themes each week for the boys, we also came up with a summer fun school program. The grandparents have been sending treat and fun money, so we thought this would be a good way to have a grandparent sponsored reward system.  We made a simple chart for each boy that has certain things (different learning activities and some simple chores) they can do each day to earn points. If they get enough by the end of the day they can earn a daily prize (a special sucker or small ice cream cone). Then if they do the tasks enough times in a week they "unlock" a special outing. The boys (Aaron, our four-year-old, especially) are highly motivated by this system and have been working hard to beat all of their daily and weekly challenges. They are both learning a lot of things really quickly by doing them each day, and having a ton of fun in the process. This will also us to make sure to plan and then actually do a lot of fun things together with our boys this summer.

After completing the first week successfully, they got to go to a nearby play place for a couple of  hours with daddy. They had a blast. Aaron's favorites were definitely the air gun and zip line. Andrew's favorite was the ball pit.

Thanks to all of the boys grandparents and great grandparents for helping to inspire and provide a lot of fun for our boys!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Family Fridays: 30 Weeks (Pregnancy Update)

Wow. It's the end of July and I'm about 3/4 through this pregnancy already. Not too much going on at this point. I am feeling OK most of the time, just big and tired. :) The last prenatal checkup was fine, and I was glad my blood sugar is fine too. I am still going to gradually decrease my sugar and simple carb intake as I getting closer to the due date, because my first too boys were so big, but at least it seems like this won't be a big deal.

This baby is very active and seems to be quite tall and have big feet. At least that's how it feels when it is doing gymnastics ans kicking me. The boys really like playing games with the baby where the baby will kick their hands. They even invented a new game where they place a ball on my bellybutton and the baby wiggles or kicks it right off my tummy. I think they'll have even more fun together once the baby is on the outside.

Starting to get ready for baby with some sewing projects that I might share more about later. Also we defrosted the freezer, so now I can start to stock it with some things for after the birth.

Linking up to My Pregnancy Journal at My Joy Filled Life.


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